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What is 5G?


The emergence of 5G has not gone unnoticed. This technology is generating a real buzz, both in the world of connectivity and beyond. This is because 5G enables many developments that we could only dream of in the past. In this blog post, we take a closer look at 5G and the possibilities of this technology.

What is 5G and how will it change our lives?

First of all, what does 5G actually mean? The short answer to that question is that 5G stands for the fifth generation in wireless technology. The previous generations probably sound familiar too, namely 3G and 4G; these are the third and fourth generation respectively. Each generation represents new developments and the transition to 5G was no different. One of the most striking innovations was the speed of the network, which is up to 100 times faster than 4G. In combination with the greater capacity of 5G, it is therefore clear that huge amounts of data can be transferred in a matter of seconds.

Another reason why this technology is so fascinating is that the latency is very low, almost non-existent even. Latency refers to the delay in data transfer. In comparison, the latency of 5G is about 10 times lower than 4G, and in optimal conditions it can be as much as 30 times lower - a significant difference compared to the older technology. In video streaming, for example, this means that a video recorded with an HD camera can be transmitted without any noticeable delay. Another example, where ultra-low latency is perhaps even more important, is in remote-controlled vehicles. When a remote command is executed, for example braking, the vehicle must execute that command immediately, without delay. 5G is fast and reliable enough for this.

What about the security of 5G networks?

More sensitive data is sent via the 5G network than in previous generations. This is largely due to IoT. Smart security cameras, portable medical devices, biometric scanners: all devices that can work on 5G, but whose data must not end up in the wrong hands. Encryption, the encoding of data that is sent, is therefore extremely important. 5G uses 256-bit encryption, which makes it impossible to identify the location of the connected device, among other things. This is considered the most secure form of encryption.

It is clear that privacy plays a big role. One of the other features of 5G is network slicing. This refers to the creation of logical (virtual) networks on a common, shared network. Each of these separate virtual networks (slices) can be assigned a specific bandwidth or frequency range. The bandwidth of a connection determines the amount of data that can be transported in a unit of time: the greater the frequency range, the more data can be transmitted. The traffic on one slice is completely independent of another slice. Network slicing can therefore be used to secure data by sending data via different slices. This limits the extent of a potential cyber attack, because not all data is accessible within the same network.

The key to innovative applications

5G is mainly inspiring in professional environments. Consumers also benefit from faster connectivity - after all, who doesn't want to be able to download and upload faster - but the biggest innovations that this technology brings about are mainly noticeable in industry, healthcare and cities. That is where 5G could bring about a real revolution. Perhaps you have already heard the terms Industry 4.0, Airport 4.0 and Supply Chain 4.0, which refers to production processes and airports becoming more efficient thanks to 5G. Remote care, unmanned drone flights and VR applications are also supported by 5G.

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